Azaleas at the Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park. Original watercolour
for photos and information Isabella plantation
May is the best time to see Azaleas in flower in the UK. The scent of the azaleas meets you at the gate to the plantation. Bluebells grow beneath the trees and paths wind through masses of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Some of the paths follow a stream crossed every so often by little bridges. Candelabra primulas and ferns enjoy the moisture of the stream. In the evening the sunlight filters through the trees and the birds sing. There are fewer visitors at this time and it feels like a secret garden. This tranquil oasis is only a few miles from Central London but it feel miles away. Paths branch off into grassy clearings until one eventually reaches a small lake bordered by irises and willows. The pinks and mauves of the azaleas are reflected in it's calm waters and Mandarin ducks look hopefully for food.
I did a watercolour sketch with some of my students beside this lake.
I did the painting at the top for the Europeanstreetteam challenge theme of walking/hiking / nature. It shows the main path that follows the stream.
A Mandarin Duck
A Handkerchief tree in one of the grassy clearings.